Rich Truett

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Rivian sent two trucks, one green test mule, and one blue early production vehicle, to the hotel in Ann Arbor where the testing for NACTOY is happening this week.

Generally, these are the impressions:
(1) The jurors are very surprised at the quality of the materials and the manufacturing.
(2) The really smart storage features also drew a lot of praise.
(3) Lots of positive comments and compliments on how the R1T drives, handles, accelerates and brakes.
(4) Some didn't really understand its mission and think it doesn't make a lot of sense because it will be used like a regular ICE truck and guzzle electricity hauling and towing, etc.
(5) The styling is a hit; everyone loved it.

In any other year, I'd say the R1T would have truck of the year in the bag. It's that good. And if you have one on order, you'll forget how late it is once you get it.

But this is not an ordinary year.

The GMC Hummer EV is also in the running, and that thing is freakin' amazeballs. It's big. It's heavy. But it feels light and agile. There is no doubt that it is much faster than the R1T. Press the Hummer's accelerator pedal into the carpet and you feel like you are being blasted into space.

The crab walk feature is waaaaay cool.
And if that weren't enough, the new Ford Maverick compact pickup is also going to get some votes.

Here's an entry level truck that is mega-affordable, really nicely equipped, and that does all the things you expect of a Ford truck. The hybrid version gets 42 mpg!

I was prepared to competely dismiss it. After all, the engine is mounted sideways! And yet the Maverick was the biggest surprise of the day.

Choosing how to spend my votes for Truck of The Year will be the hardest thing I have ever done since joining the NACTOY jury 8 years ago. All three are worthy.

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wizard467

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But this is not an ordinary year.
The GMC Hummer EV is also in the running, and that thing is freakin' amazeballs. It's big. It's heavy. But it feels light and agile. There is no doubt that it is much faster than the R1T. Press the Hummer's accelerator pedal into the carpet and you feel like you are being blasted into space.
Much faster than an R1T? This seems surprising, since both have been reported at 0-60 in 3 seconds. Perhaps the R1T wasn’t in sport mode when they were doing the testing? Seems like an odd miss.
 

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Rivian sent two trucks, one green test mule, and one blue early production vehicle, to the hotel where the testing is happening this week.

Generally, these are the impressions:
(1) The jurors are very surprised at the quality of the materials and the manufacturing.
(2) The really smart storage features also drew a lot of praise.
(3) Lots of positive comments and compliments on how the R1T drives, handles, accelerates and brakes.
(4) Some didn't really understand its mission and think it doesn't make a lot of sense because it will be used like a regular ICE truck and guzzle electricity hauling and towing, etc.
(5) The styling is a hit; everyone loved it.

In any other year, I'd say the R1T would have truck of the year in the bag. It's that good. And if you have one on order, you'll forget how late it is once you get it.

But this is not an ordinary year.
The GMC Hummer EV is also in the running, and that thing is freakin' amazeballs. It's big. It's heavy. But it feels light and agile. There is no doubt that it much faster than the R1T. Press the Hummer's accelerator pedal into the carpet and you feel like you are being blasted into space.

The crab walk feature is waaaaay cool.
And if that weren't enough, the new Ford Maverick compact pickup is also going to get some votes.

Here's an entry level truck that is mega-affordable, really nicely equipped, and that does all the things you expect of a Ford truck. The hybrid version gets 42 mpg!

I was prepared to competely dismiss it. After all, the engine is mounted sideways! And yet the Maverick was the biggest surprise of the day.

Choosing how to spend my votes for Truck of The Year will be the hardest thing I have ever done since joining the NACTOY jury 8 years ago. All three are worthy.
I can see where there would be a lot of things to balance for the vote that would really make it hard to compare these.

I think what both Rivian and Hummer will have issues with not only here but in the general public is for people to understand these are not work trucks.

That is where the challenge comes in (think Bloomberg R1T review), the truck category really needs to be broken up to distinguish between a work truck and these short bed more consumer targeted vehicles that are designed for an entirely different market segment.
 
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Rich Truett

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Much faster than an R1T? This seems surprising, since both have been reported at 0-60 in 3 seconds. Perhaps the R1T wasn’t in sport mode when they were doing the testing? Seems like an odd miss.
I didn't get the same sensation of instant, overwhelming massive solid rocket booster thrust in the R1T as I did in the Hummer. That's a strictly seat of the pants observation, not measured in any way.
 

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Much faster than an R1T? This seems surprising, since both have been reported at 0-60 in 3 seconds. Perhaps the R1T wasn’t in sport mode when they were doing the testing? Seems like an odd miss.
Could just be how hard it hits. I would be surprised if they were actually timing the acceleration so it was just a seat of the pants feeling. I also seem to recall seeing somewhere that GM was being conservative when they said 0-60 was 3 seconds...

They also probably had the 20's on the truck which is not the fastest configuration.
 
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Rich Truett

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By the way: I also tested the Ford Bronco.
Yawn.
It has nice powertrain, a really tight turning radius, and looking out over the hood is pretty cool.
But the interior is a mess ergonomically.
And my test vehicle's driver window kept getting caught on the weatherstrip. Ford's build quality issues continue...
 

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Could just be how hard it hits. I would be surprised if they were actually timing the acceleration so it was just a seat of the pants feeling. I also seem to recall seeing somewhere that GM was being conservative when they said 0-60 was 3 seconds...

They also probably had the 20's on the truck which is not the fastest configuration.
There's also the issue of the R1T's 275/65r20s vs the Hummer's 305/70r18s. So the Hummer has a larger contact patch and most likely a little more sidewall flex (not to mention a little more weight), both resulting in more grip off the line (ignoring any compound differences). The Rivian may be having to manage for more tire spin off the line. I thought I was noticing something to this effect in some of the standing start videos where the launch seemed a little soft before starting to pull harder - and this might seem to confirm that observation.

Would also be interesting to know what drive mode each was in when the acceleration differences were noted.
 

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By the way: I also tested the Ford Bronco.
Yawn.
It has nice powertrain, a really tight turning radius, and looking out over the hood is pretty cool.
But the interior is a mess ergonomically.
And my test vehicle's driver window kept getting caught on the weatherstrip. Ford's build quality issues continue...
How would you say interior build quality of the R1T is vs the Hummer? And thanks so much for your information and observations!
 
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Rich Truett

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How would you say interior build quality of the R1T is vs the Hummer? And thanks so much for your information and observations!
I'd say the R1T tilts more towards luxury...real wood, for instance. The dash is maybe less busy in the R1T than on the Hummer. Both require the driver to be a computer programmer to dial in features, but once you get used to it, it will go quickly.
I'd give a slight edge to the Hummer in terms of screen content. What they've done with graphics is really cool.
After testing both you realize we are at the start of a new era and big changes are coming.
 

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(4) Some didn't really understand its mission and think it doesn't make a lot of sense because it will be used like a regular ICE truck and guzzle electricity hauling and towing, etc.
Could you elaborate? I'm not following. Yes, any truck will consume more energy than a car, but that's energy is significantly cleaner than the equivalent ICE. Am I misunderstanding what confusion was about?
 
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Rich Truett

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Could you elaborate? I'm not following. Yes, any truck will consume more energy than a car, but that's energy is significantly cleaner than the equivalent ICE. Am I misunderstanding what confusion was about?
The R1T is built for off-road adventures. Some jurors were thinking it'll never be used that way by some buyers. It'll just be a commuter vehicle. That's probably true.
 

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Here's an entry level truck that is mega-affordable, really nicely equipped, and that does all the things you expect of a Ford truck. The hybrid version gets 42 mpg!
Totally agree. If Ford had made an all electric version of the maverick I'd probably be all over that. But I can't stand driving combustion cars anymore both for performance, ride quality, and I fundamentally refused to buy another ICE for environmental concerns.
 

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It's not surprising the Hummer delivers high levels of performance. I'd expect nothing less at that price point. What makes the R1T so remarkable is what it delivers at a $40,000 lower starting price.
 

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The R1T is built for off-road adventures. Some jurors were thinking it'll never be used that way by some buyers. It'll just be a commuter vehicle. That's probably true.
Ah. Thanks. The Hummer (and every full sized truck) has the same issue predominately, right?
 
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